Monday, August 12, 2013

Literacy Action Center Overview

Our mission is to deliver basic literacy education that is effective and confidential. We enhance the quality of life for adults who speak English and enter our program with less than 5th grade literacy skills. Our focus is on English-speaking adults who live in Salt or Davis Counties.

June Moss, a lay minister at First Baptist Church, Salt Lake City, Utah, started Literacy Action Center in 1983.

Literacy Action Center is the only nonprofit organization in Salt Lake and Davis Counties that focuses on transforming these "functionally-illiterate" English-speaking adults into skilled, passionate, habitual, critical readers, writers, and mathematicians. (Other programs that work with low-literate adults focus on refugees and immigrants who are just learning to speak English.)

What They Say

Functionally-illiterate English-speaking adults typically report the following:
  • Never learned phonics—They state that they can’t read because they can’t figure out how to sound out words.
  • “Stupid” or “You’ll never learn nothin’”—They report that a teacher or family member said these things (or worse) to them. These adult learners haven’t forgotten. Unfortunately, they have come to believe that they can’t learn.
  • Difficulty focusing—They are often distracted by others around them and the size of tasks.
  • Forget easily—Short-term memory problems abound in this population. Showing them something once will not result in learning.
  • Scared—Someone will find out their secret. Initially our enrollees don’t want people to know where they are spending their time.
  • “I’m the only one”—They are certain that no one else has literacy issues.